President Donald Trump stunned social media users after the Washington Post and New York Times reported he once asked why immigrants from "s---hole countries" come to the United States.
On Thursday, the Washington Post first reported that Trump became frustrated during a meeting with lawmakers about restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and other countries.
"Why are we having all these people from s---hole countries come here?" Trump said, sources briefed on the meeting told the Post and New York Times. Trump was referring to Haiti and African countries, and suggested that the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries like Norway.
The comments surprised cabinet members and lawmakers, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin. Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton, and Representatives Kevin McCarthy and Robert Goodlatte also attended the meeting. Trump and Congress are looking at a deal to help "Dreamers," immigrants protected under the DACA program.
The sources told the Times that Trump asked if Haitians could be left out of the deal. “Why do we want people from Haiti here?” Trump reportedly said.
White House spokesman Raj Shah did not deny Trump's statements.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” Shah said. “Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”
Trump's comments about immigrants sparked shock and inspired jokes on Twitter. Comedian Nick Jack Pappas wondered why Norwegians would want to live under a "s----hole President."
Trump: "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here? Why not people from Norway?"
Norwegians: "Why would we move to a country with a shithole President?"— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) January 11, 2018
Journalist Sarah Harvard said she is "proud to be the daughter of an immigrant from an African 's---hole' country."
I’m proud to be the daughter of an immigrant from an African “shithole” country.
My father’s “shithole” country was the first to recognize the U.S. as a sovereign nation.
And if it weren’t for that “shithole” country, the US wouldn’t have the financial means to survive then.— sᴀʀᴀʜ, ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇᴘᴏʀᴛᴇʀ (@amyharvard_) January 11, 2018
Actress Monica Raymund said Trump "isn't even trying to hide his bigotry."
“Shithole countries”?! This guy isn’t even trying to hide his bigotry. @realDonaldTrump is a bigot, a racist, and a shithole himself. I am absolutely disgusted, offended since my own family came here from a third world country, and disgraced. https://t.co/0aUYF7le3z— Monica Raymund (@monicaraymund) January 11, 2018
Writer Wajahat Ali noted the contributions Pakistanis have made in the U.S.
My parents are from #shitholecountry Pakistan. I'm their son, born & raised here. Proud of it. We're your doctors, employers, employees, engineers, teachers, students, drivers, thought leaders. You eat our food (& love it) & raise your kids next to us. Thanks & you're welcome.— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) January 11, 2018
In all seriousness, based on his latest "shithole countries" comment, it is relieving to see TV pundits and anchors openly now saying Trump might be, you know, racist. The rest of us took his comments and rhetoric seriously and literally. None of this should surprise or shock.— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) January 11, 2018
Journalist Dan Rather called the comment a "new low" and "disgraceful for him, the country, and every American."
The latest outrage from President Trump disparaging immigrants from what he calls "shithole" countries is a new low. It's disgraceful for him, the country, and every American.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 11, 2018
Others said that the U.S. has become a "s---hole" country himself thanks to Trump.
Who’s gonna tell Trump that this is a shithole country too, thanks to him— Britt Stephens (@brittsteps) January 11, 2018
If your COUNTRY is a shithole clap your hands
👏🏻 🇺🇸 👏🏻 🇺🇸— Caro (@socarolinesays) January 11, 2018
If you don’t have a problem with your President calling other countries - ANY country - “shithole countries” then you’re a shithole person.— Jeff Cannata (@jeffcannata) January 11, 2018
My ancestors came from one of Trump's "shithole" countries with no running water, no indoor toilets, rampant poverty and famine. Ireland. That was back when Trump's family name was still Drumf and they lived in a "shithole" country. https://t.co/G5fbV4bJ8A— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) January 11, 2018
.@realDonaldTrump -- You would never call a predominantly white country a “shithole” because you are unable to see people of color, American or otherwise, as equals.— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) January 11, 2018